Deborah, congratulations on this new role that will allow you to take on an important mission that Michèle (Mouton. Editor’s note) has been involved in for so long. First, tell us a bit about your story and how you got this job.
I have been working in the investment and private banking sector for many years. I developed the Iron Women project, a project close to my heart, which aims to promote women in motorsport. It reminded me of my own professional experience as one of the few women in a highly competitive environment where women were probably in the minority. So when I discovered and started motorsport, I thought it was important to develop this project. And now, in this new year, I am elected chairman of the FIA commission. All women in the motorsport industry are probably not as visible as drivers, but they also fill roles that enable drivers to thrive and achieve success: engineers, marketers, the people who make hospitality work, who make pilots recover and are physically fit, and so forth.
What can you say about the Commission’s future goals and objectives?
It is about maintaining the continuity of the programs, but also about thinking about new projects and initiatives. Until both in terms of programs that are missing and where we will do our best to increase access to talented young women from countries not yet represented in the current program, from Asia, from America from the south, from Africa. At the same time, we will gradually do our best to launch new projects and promote partnerships with other associations. We already have initiatives for women. We will therefore gradually continue existing projects and develop new ones by representing the specialties of different countries. This makes it possible to have people with different experiences. The goal is to engage in interactive behavior, incorporate ideas and projects, discuss, implement what we can implement, brainstorm and develop new initiatives. The Commission’s aim is to promote women in motorsport and not just drivers, but all active women. To show young women who may never have thought there would be an opportunity for them to have a career in motorsports that there is an opportunity. Again, it’s not just about being a pilot. You can develop cars, projects. There are so many possibilities. What is very good about this generation, our age is that everyone is on social networks. You can reach out to these talented people, these talented women, and tell them that you have a chance, that you have options.
What is the importance of drivers like Tatiana Calderón in IndyCar or Sophia Floersch in Endurance?
I think it’s not only crucial in motorsport. In any industry or activity, it is important to have someone who takes the lead and mentors young people. This is also the role of the Commission. One of our goals is to be the point of contact, to give women access to the motorsport industry. I want to highlight talented women and promote women in motorsport. The beauty of motorsport is that both men and women can participate. The possibilities are many.
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